Tipping the balance of deterministic lateral displacement devices using dielectrophoresis.

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Abstract

We report the use of dielectrophoresis (DEP) to achieve tunability, improve dynamic range and open up for the separation of particles with regard to parameters other than hydrodynamic size in deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) devices. DLD devices have been shown capable of rapidly and continuously separating micrometer sized plastic spheres by size with a resolution of 20 nm in diameter and of being able to handle the separation of biological samples as wide ranging as bacterial artificial chromosomes and blood cells. DEP, while not exhibiting the same resolution in size separation as DLD, has the benefit of being easy to tune and can, by choosing the frequency, be used to probe a variety of particle properties. By combining DLD and DEP we open up for the advantages, while avoiding the drawbacks, of the two techniques. We present a proof of principle in which the critical size for separation of polystyrene beads is tuned in the range 2-6 microm in a single device by the application of moderate (100 V cm(-1)), low frequency (100 Hz) AC electric fields. The behaviour of the device was further investigated by performing simulations of particle trajectories, the results of which were in good qualitative agreement with experiments, indicating the potential of the method for tunable, high-resolution separations with respect to both size and polarisability.

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  • Condensed Matter Physics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2698-2706
JournalLab on a Chip
Volume9
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes